National / Crime & Legal

Japan looks to levy ¥500 million fine for fraudulent casino applications

Kyodo

Casino operators in Japan will be fined up to ¥500 million ($4.7 million) if they are found to have obtained their business licenses through fraudulent means, under legislation to be submitted to the Diet this month.

The penalty is included in legislation paving the way for casino gambling in Japan, where concerns remain the industry could exacerbate gambling addiction and adversely affect community safety around the facilities. The government plans to submit the bill, a copy of which was obtained by Kyodo News, to the Diet on April 27.

In 2016 a law took effect allowing the establishment of casinos as part of integrated resorts with hotel, conference and event facilities, pending enactment of legislation governing the operation of the facilities.

To address public concerns, the bill stipulates the government is responsible for the “prevention of harmful effects associated with the use of casinos,” and will introduce a government-managed license system for the operation of casinos, according to the document.

A company seeking a license will be required to submit a business plan, and also a copy of internal rules aimed at addressing gambling addiction. It will also need to certify no management personnel has ties to gangsters.

The license will be valid for three years, and the casino operator will need to undergo screening again to renew it.

If an operator is found to have obtained the license through fraudulent means, such as by submitting false business plans, the company’s officials will also face punishment. The firm’s executives will face sentences of up to five years in prison or a fine of up to ¥5 million, according to the bill.

The bill will restrict Japan residents from entering casinos more than three times a week and 10 times per month, and casino workers will face up to three years in prison or a fine of ¥3 million if found to have allowed customers to exceeded those limits.

Residents will also be charged an entrance fee of ¥6,000. Foreign visitors will be allowed to enter for free.

The government hopes casinos will help attract more overseas visitors and boost regional economies.

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